Jenisha Stapleton is an aspiring public health scientist from St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, interested in infectious diseases and health disparities. Drawing from her pandemic response experience as a COVID-19 Surveillance Officer and her global health exposure as a Peace Corps Volunteer focused on HIV/AIDS prevention programming for youth, particularly adolescent girls, combined with her graduate research on the social determinants of sexual health outcomes, she desires to contribute to research that supports interventions that inform policies that promote health equity. She aims to improve health outcomes for key populations in historically underserved communities, especially in the often-neglected US territories.
Equipped with a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Dance from Bryn Mawr College, Jenisha is eager to join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an ASPPH Fellow for the Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response for Women and Families project. As a first-generation Afro-Caribbean woman, she is excited about contributing to work that addresses the unique needs of women and families related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies. She looks forward to learning from the nation’s experts in minority health and conducting research to address health disparities and accelerate public health solutions. Jenisha enthusiastically anticipates her time as a Fellow, an experience she believes will facilitate her professional and personal growth and ultimately enable her to make a lasting impact as a global public health scientist.
For this project, she will build on a portfolio of products by the CDC Office of Women’s Health (OWH). The current portfolio includes public education and a web page on Women, Caregiving, and COVID-19; a mixed-methods research study to examine COVID-19 challenges, responses, and resilience among rural Black women; and data monitoring and research reviews regarding COVID-19 and women across a range of diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic categories. In collaboration with OWH staff and internal and external partners, Jenisha will contribute to one or more of the primary focus areas for this project: Surveillance and Research, Partnerships and Capacity Building, Strategies and Policy, and Public Education.